8 in 10 users have faced online harassment, claims survey

October 04, 2017 01:04 pm | Updated 03:59 pm IST - New Delhi

Representational image

Representational image

Eight out of 10 people in India have experienced some form of online harassment, with most common forms being abuse and insults, according to a new survey by Norton by Symantec.

The study, conducted among over 1000 adults mainly from Tier 1 cities, aims to understand the country’s exposure to online harassment, which includes trolling, character assassination, cyber bullying, sexual harrassment and threats of physical violence.

“Our research shows that more serious forms of online harrassment, including threats of physical violence (44%), and cyberstalking (45%) are very high,” Ritesh Chopra, Country Manager, Norton by Symantec, said.

Abuse and insults is the most common form of online harrassment with 63% respondents experiencing it, followed by malicious gossip and rumours (59%), trolling (50%).

“With India’s growing population spending more time of social media platforms and mobile applications, it is important that online users’ take basic precautions to protect their safety and security to avoid unwanted contact,” Mr Chopra said.

As per the study, 40% of incidences of cyberbullying and nearly half of all cases of cyberstalking people said the perpetrator was a stranger.

While the survey shows that men and women reported similar experiences of online harrassment, people with disabilities and poor mental health were more susceptible to some of the more serious threats.

By region, the highest threats of physical violence were reported by victims from Mumbai (51%), Delhi (47%), and Hyderabad (46%). Reports of online sexual harrassment were highest by victims from Delhi and Mumbai (43%), followed by Kolkata (37%) and Bengaluru (36%).

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